Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places » Orange Walk Gets Upgraded Fire Station and Truck
Apr 25, 2022

Orange Walk Gets Upgraded Fire Station and Truck

It’s no secret that the country’s fire service had, over several years, deteriorated almost to a point of disrepair. In at least two of the municipalities, the ceilings were falling in, and the trucks were outdated and lacked full functionality. To address the dire need for an overall upgrade, the government has allocated some three million dollars to invest in better fire trucks, construct new fire stations, renovate existing stations, and outfitting them with the necessary equipment and amenities. News Five’s Marion Ali was present on Saturday in Orange Walk for the symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony for a newly renovated fire station, the ground-breaking for a new one, and the handing-over of an upgraded fire truck. Here’s her report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The Spartan-brand, twelve hundred-gallon-capacity fire truck that now responds to fires in Orange Walk is one of several upgrades that the district is getting. The recent acquisition is one of three trucks from the Calgary Fire Station in Canada. The other two will be deployed in Belize City and San Ignacio, Cayo. The fire trucks are part and parcel of a countrywide rebuilding of the current system. Towards that end, Orange Walk also saw ground broken on Saturday for the construction of a new fire station in Trial Farm Village. Altogether, government has allocated some three million dollars to invest in the countrywide upgrades.


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“We had brought it to the House of Representatives informing the public about what we were going to do with those monies from the sale of the headquarters in Belize City. Now we have started to bring into fruition the first of the fire stations that are being refurbished. We have six more to be refurbished and we have six new fire stations that will be constructed.”


The rationale behind having facilities at different locations is that firefighters would be able to reach fire scenes in a timelier fashion, particularly during peak traffic hours. Another aspect to the improvement includes installing new fire hydrants at strategic points where fire trucks can easily access water during fires. Thirty-five new hydrants have already been placed in Orange Walk.


Orlando Habet

“The fire hydrants, as the Prime Minister mentioned in his speech and the Mayor confirmed, is something that has to be done especially through the municipality. So the Town Council has to have their input. We have to have meetings with B.W.S. so that we can have that collaborative effort in trying to see that we establish them to put them in the right place and to have sufficient in strategic areas.”


Dr. Kenrick Williams

The overhaul of the National Fire Service will address more than just the aesthetics of the stations where these frontline workers spend so much of their time. In addition to providing a decent working atmosphere, it will also address issues to help boost the morale of the firemen.


Dr. Kenrick Williams, C.E.O., Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“We’ve been working on a lot of the intangibles. These firemen have been neglected for years in terms of their working conditions, in terms of their employment. We haven’t had a promotion for years in the fire service.”


Orlando Habet

“The remuneration wasn’t there; people weren’t getting their increments, they weren’t getting their promotions, people were employed and sent to different stations based on political affiliation, promotions were done based on political affiliations. That has now stopped. In Toledo, I’ll tell you, I don’t know how they have been surviving in that area but the entire structure, PM, is full of woodlice, all through the concrete building – the blocks – they can’t even plug in an electrical cord because it is full of woodlice, so what we’re doing there is possibly having to relocate because the area is really in a bad condition.”


Ninety thousand dollars was spent on the rehabilitative work at the Orange Walk Fire Station. The painting on the existing Orange Walk Fire Station was done by the men and women who make up the firefighting team there.


Marion Ali for News Five.


New fire stations will be constructed in San Ignacio, Corozal, and Dangriga in collaboration with the U.S. government.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed